Kenya are you watching? Uganda’s Namboole Stadium cleared to host international matches

Namboole Stadium is far from ready|COURTESY

Kenya are you watching? Uganda’s Namboole Stadium cleared to host international matches

Joel Omotto 17:40 - 13.05.2024

Uganda has received a boost after CAF approved Namboole Stadium to host international matches at a time Kenya is considering hosting visiting teams in other countries.

While Kenya grapples with shortage of stadia following the closure of Kasarani and Nyayo Stadiums for renovation, Uganda’s Namboole Stadium has been cleared to host international matches.

The Mandela National Stadium, popularly known as Namboole, has been inactive since 2020 following some substandard renovation but has received a clean bill of health following extensive renovation by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) Engineering Brigade which gave it a completely new face.

The UPDF work started in 2020 and completed recently after which two test matches were conducted at the stadium.

Now, the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) has confirmed that Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) has cleared the stadium to stage international matches, allowing the country to host their next home matches, the 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Botswana and Algeria in Uganda, next month.

"CAF has granted FUFA permission to host International Matches at Mandela National Stadium (Namboole). This therefore implies that Uganda Cranes will host the up coming 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifier matches against Botswana and Algeria in June at Namboole," FUFA said via a statement.

Uganda was among a host of African countries who were forced to play home matches away due to unavailability of a CAF and FIFA-approved stadium with Morocco accommodating them during that period.

That is the prospect that Kenya is starring at presently with the closure of Kasarani and Nyayo which had not even met CAF and FIFA standards before they were closed.

There have been reports that Kenya is considering hosting Burundi and Ivory Coast in Malawi next month given they still do not have a venue to play home matches although Sports Kenya remains hopeful that that will not happen.

With Rwanda also completing the Amahoro Stadium, Kenya is the only country in the region still lagging behind in terms of having a stadium that meets international stadium which only ramps up pressure on the government to speed up its work.